Figured I would write a little story about our trip in hopes this will share with those unable to attend, what it was like to be at the 1st Official 2011 Tenkara USA Summit.
So, here goes.....
Here is my little story about my wife and my trip from Northern California to West Yellowstone for the 1st Official Tenkara USA Summit.
We live in Grass Valley, CA and this is about 850 miles away from West Yellowstone where the summit was held. We decided to take our newly purchased (used) 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser for the long 1700 mile round trip excursion.
As much as we would have liked to fly back and forth, the cost for two round trip airline tickets and then having to rent a car anyway since the closest airport is Bozeman at 2 hours away from West Yellowstone was too much for us right now, so we just decided to drive.
Come Monday on our way home I was sure feeling it as the drive was about 15 hours long (one way) and we had to do it all in one day to get home for work come Tuesday. But..... it was worth it.
Overall we put about 2000 miles on the FJ since we did lots of exploring of Yellowstone National Park on Friday and Sunday and we both really enjoyed the time. Lots of Tenkara Tatanka in the park that we took pictures of. hehehe. We saw Elk, Bear, Buffalo (Tatanka), and all sorts of great Yellowstone nature. I so wanted to jump out and fish all these nice streams and rivers in the park but the time just did not permit this.
The Summit was great. We enjoyed a nice dinner with other tenkara folks on Friday at the restaurant at the Holiday Inn where many people stayed. Good beer, good people, good times! We sat with the two Chris’s (Chris Tenkarabum Stewart & all the way from Norway Chris Hendriks), Dr. Ishigaki, Masaki, Brian Fleming who is making the tenkara video, and TenkaraAshley & mom who were also helping Brian with the new LearnTenkara.com web site. All folks were real nice and glad I was able to share some brews with them.
There were other folks at other tables during dinner that we all mingled with a little here and a little there such as Eric of Tenkara Guides and Tom Sadler, famous for doing tenkara only guiding services, and Misako Ishimura who helped with the Tenkara Radically Simple book that many are enjoying.
Therefore, good beer, good people, good times!
Saturday was the all day summit where a good chunk of the day was enjoyed at the Holiday Inn in a seminar room where the crowd enjoyed being introduced to tenkara by Dr. Ishigaki via video and talks, he answered questions too. Then they moved on to a panel discussion with tenkara lumenaries such as Dr. Ishigaki, our own Daniel Galhardo, and Chris (Tenkarabum) Stewart. A special thanks to Masaki for being the Japanese to English translator at this event so we all need a little Masaki in our pockets when we need translatting to do. hehehe
After the panel discussion they did 30 minute seminars with Ryan Jordan of Backpacking Lite, Tom Sadler The Tenkara Guide, and Craig Mathews of Blue Ribbon Flies. All of there sessions were fun, informative, with some videos they showed that had the crowd laughing at times. A nice mix of talent and fun tenkara folks to learn from.
After all the morning sessions we were escorted next door where they had a full room of tables for chowing down on. There was a $12 donation lunch where you could make your own huge sandwich from all the fixings and enjoy it with various salads, ice tea, and water. Mingling at the tables, meeting more people, eating our grub, for about an hour or so. There were tables at the corner of the room where raffle items were placed and also a section where Tenkara USA was selling some new design Tenkara Summit T-Shirts along with TenkaraBum selling all his special lines. Had to buy my wife and myself a new T-Shirt to add to my daily collection of my growing Tenkara USA wardrobe. Daniel, when we gonna see some Tenkara USA pants and skivees so that is all I need to where from now on. hehehe.
The auction/raffle was interesting where all sorts of tenkara items were available with a sheet next to each item where one would write their max amount they would buy it for and then at the end, highest bidder won. Some neat stuff was for sale and I am sure many happy buyers left with some nice gear. I believe some or all the $ went to charity but not sure on that. There was also a freebie give-away where they called out #s (each one of us had a name tag with # on it) and if you were called, received some neat gifts. My wife won a Tenkara Level Line shirt that Dr. Ishigaki donated and gave it to me. Nice wifey I have.
Very cool little gift.
After lunch we all drove into Yellowstone National Park where right inside the entrance there was a dirt path that lead to the river. On the river we enjoyed a couple hours of watching Dr. Ishigaki & Daniel Galhardo fishing, showing us some tips and tricks, and allowing some folks on the banks to cast a tenkara rod. Daniel caught a small fish but Dr. Ishigaki did not. It was still fun watching masters in action and learning something new with every cast.
Brian Fleming along with Tenkara Ashley & mom video taped much of this show along with many pictures so I can’t wait to see what comes from that!
At around 4PM to 5PM everything came to an end and we all went our separate ways celebrating the 1st Official Tenkara USA 2011 Summit as a success.
Thanks to Tenkara USA and all those involved in making this happen! And that means you too fellow attendees, as without us and you, this would not have been 1/2 as fun so thanks for coming from all over the world to play tenkara for the day.
***** A few pictures of our time at the summit and at Yellowstone.
Our trusty new ride.
A giant taking a nap.
Done resting, lets eat some more.
Dragon's Layer. Man is Yellowstone one big gurgling steamy place.
After seeing and smellin stinks holes all day, this man was growing tired of it. hehehe. I started telling my wife we can skip seeing the next Devil's Bung Hole.
You looking at me? You looking AT ME!!!
What my wife looks like when she is mad at me and blowing up. Old Faithful.
Seminar room during panel discussion.
Deciding on what the game plan is.
Dr. Ishigaki always smiling. Seems like such a happy man!
Master always teaching his student.
What a wonderful place.
Happy couple playing tenkara and yellowstone for a 4 day weekend.
*** Three videos, just short clips of the on river demonstration which I took from my iPhone as well as Old Faithful blasting off (coming soon). Will help you see what the on river demonstration was like.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul7Z-VSQKC0http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pqV41Aanw8http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Fo-ZwkiJpchttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_Tj7SGVmVE